The Government of Montenegro and the third largest Italian utility company A2A signed a contract in 2009 which made the Italians buy a minority stake in the main Montenegrin electricity producer Elektroprivreda Crne Gore. According to the contract, the Italian giant paid €436m for a 43.7% stake in the Montenegrin company. Both sides were very content with the deal — Vujica Lazovic, the deputy prime minister of Montenegro at the time said that he considers this to be a huge step forward for Montenegro in making it an energy hub between the Balkans and Western Europe. On the other hand, the Italians were very pleased they closed the deal, pledging to invest another €5 billion in Montenegro in the future. A very important part of the contract, especially for the Italian company, was the clause that allowed them to become a major shareholder in the future. As a makeweight, Montenegro had the ability to purchase the A2A share if they wanted to.
However, both parties of this deal decided to make a couple of changes to the contract in August 2011 — they practically removed two clauses from it. A2A no longer has the ability to become a major shareholder in EPCG, while the Montenegrin Government waived its right to buy off the A2A share. Both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding on August 4. “There is no exit strategy, we have just rebalanced the agreement,” A2A management board chairman Giuliano Zuccoli said after the signing ceremony.
A2A will continue to run EPCG and has the right to do so until the end of 2014, according to the Memorandum.
A2A is a company based in Brescia, Italy that was formed by a merger of two companies: AEM Milan and ASM Brescia in 2007. The company also operates in Spain, France, Italy, beside in Italy and Montenegro. It is active in the following sectors:
- The production, sale and distribution of electrical energy;
- The sale and distribution of gas;
- The production, sale and distribution of heat by means of district heating networks;
- The handling of waste;
- The handling of the integrated water cycle;
- The sale of adsl offers in the electrical network
Its revenue figures in the last few years were in the region of €4-5 billion, with an operating income of €600m.